Society Islands


Society Islands
a group of islands in the S Pacific: a part of French Polynesia; largest island, Tahiti. (Excluding minor islands) 100,270; 453 sq. mi. (1173 sq. km). Cap.: Papeete.

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Archipelago (pop., 1996: 189,522), western French Polynesia.

Its chief island is Tahiti. The Society Islands comprise two groups, the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands. They are volcanic in origin and mountainous. Claimed for Britain in 1767, the islands were visited in 1769 by Capt. James Cook with a scientific expedition of the Royal Society (hence their name). They were claimed by France in 1768 and became a French protectorate in 1842, a French colony in 1881, and a part of French Oceania in 1903. Their chief products are copra and pearls.

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French  Îles de la Société  
 archipelago within French Polynesia in the central South Pacific Ocean. Extending some 450 miles (725 km) in length, it is divided into two island clusters, the Îles du Vent (Vent, Îles du) (Windward Islands) and the Îles Sous le Vent (Sous le Vent, Îles) (Leeward Islands). The largest and best known of the Society Islands is Tahiti, in the Îles du Vent; Moorea is another notable island in the group. Raiatea is the principal island in the Îles Sous le Vent group, which also includes Bora-Bora.

 Claimed for Britain by Capt. Samuel Wallis (1767) and for France by Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (Bougainville, Louis-Antoine de) (1768), the islands were also visited (1769) by Capt. James Cook (Cook, James) with a scientific expedition of the Royal Society (whence their name). The islands became first a French protectorate (1842), then a colony (1881), and eventually a part of French Oceania (1903). The Îles du Vent and the Îles Sous le Vent became administrative divisions of French Polynesia in 1946. Pop. (2002) 214,445.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Society Islands — [so named (1769) by COOK1 James] group of islands in the South Pacific, constituting a division of French Polynesia: c. 613 sq mi (1,588 sq km); pop. 145,000; chief town, Papeete …   English World dictionary

  • Society Islands —   [sə saɪətɪ aɪləndz], englische Bezeichnung für die Gesellschaftsinseln …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Society Islands — Infobox Islands name = Society Islands image caption = Tahiti image size = locator native name = Îles de la Société native name link = French language nickname = location = Pacific Ocean coordinates =… …   Wikipedia

  • Society Islands —    In the Society Islands myth, Roua was the Father of the Stars, Taonoui was the Mother of the Stars.    Their son was Fati, known otherwise as Fadu. This myth differs from other Polynesian stories …   Who’s Who in non-classical mythology

  • Society Islands — Îles de la Société Îles de la Société Carte de la Polynésie française avec les îles de la Société. Géographie Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Society Islands — or French Îles de la Société geographical name islands S Pacific belonging to France capital Papeete (on Tahiti) area 621 square miles (1608 square kilometers), population 162,573 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Society Islands — noun A group of islands in the South Pacific; part of French Polynesia …   Wiktionary

  • SOCIETY ISLANDS —    (24), an archipelago in the South Pacific, consisting of 13 principal islands and numerous islets, the chief being Tahiti; they are mountainous, and engirdled by belts of flat land as well as coral reefs; have a fertile soil and luxuriant… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Society Islands — Soci′ety Is′lands n. pl. geg a group of islands in the S Pacific: a part of French Polynesia; largest island, Tahiti. 142,270; 650 sq. mi. (1683 sq. km) Cap.: Papeete …   From formal English to slang

  • Society Islands — /səsaɪəti ˈaɪləndz/ (say suhsuyuhtee uyluhndz) plural noun a group of islands in the South Pacific, a part of French Polynesia; largest island, Tahiti. 1173 km2 …   Australian English dictionary


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